The president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has admitted mistakes were made in giving black Zimbabweans land seized from white farmers.
He said the farms given out were too large and the black farmers could not manage them.
In the past he has tended to blame poor agricultural productivity on the weather and Western sanctions.
The seizure of land from white farmers is seen as a key factor in Zimbabwe's economic meltdown since 2000.
It was not the first time President Mugabe has criticised new black farmers, but his comments were surprisingly frank.
They point to continuous problems in accounting for low production levels and the under-utilisation of farms, which reflect badly thought-out land policies.
Mr Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was interviewed on the state broadcaster ZBC to mark his 91st birthday, which he celebrated last weekend.
He said he wanted to encourage farmers to go into wheat farming, and blamed low productivity on the new commercial farmers for failing to utilise all their land.
During the colonial era, the best farmland was reserved for the white population and in 2000, Mr Mugabe spearheaded the seizure of the land from some 4,000 white farmers.
His critics say the land was handed out to his political allies and many of the beneficiaries were not given the equipment or training to farm productively, leading to the collapse of the agriculture-based economy.
In the interview, he also denied pushing his wife Grace to enter politics.
Last year, she became head of the women's league and in the ruling Zanu-PF party, and embarked on a nationwide tour, in which she denounced party rivals.
This led to speculation that she was being readied to succeed her husband as president.
"She is not the power behind my throne. She has come into politics in her own right," Mr Mugabe said.
The headline of The Herald, widely seen as a government mouthpiece, is: "I'm still in charge, says President".